Sam

Contemporary

In Dance on July 30, 2015 at 11:55 pm

So good, so far?

I’m aching, in many places, I had my third evening of stretching – you wouldn’t think so but it’s at least a half hour job and more. I’m doing something called AIS, and I’m stretching my Lower Back/Glutes, Hamstrings, Adductors, Quads, Psoas and Obliques. I also added abdominal crunches, might as well seeing as I’m already on the yoga mat. I’m continuing my dance classes too, I guess this is another step up for my body, I cut caffeine from my diet, drinking 2ltrs of water, cut snacks and soda – and been eating healthy food. It’s a conscious drive to strengthen myself so I can dance longer, ain’t getting younger and the best thing I can do is prepare my body for the long journey ahead!

I really enjoyed tonight and tried to apply what I learned on Tuesday, the rolls came to me much better although I managed the scrape the skin off the top of my foot so it bled, well I had a scratch already, no fuss! The contracting abs helped a lot and I kept reminding myself that was the source of all the moves – that’s where I should begin, the core is the launchpad! It’ll take time to bed this down, but I have a goal now, I know what my aim is. Fingers crossed!

The across the room was nice, the handstand kick back wasn’t good for me as I attempted to use my right leg instead of the left – I knew it was my weaker side but I wanted to try it, it was difficult getting the height and arching the back, I was pretty stiff. I should practise handstands more! We did some hops with elevation and mid-air twist, I can get some decent height if only I can match myself with the beat of the music, I need to hop and land to the beat… time does slow down when I hop, sometimes I can’t get down fast enough! That can only mean I didn’t jump early enough! 

I really enjoyed the routine and learning some steps on the way, I’m still discovering new combinations so I’m happy! I think I did ok although there were parts that I struggled with, too much thinking and not enough feeling. Loved it!

Now for a week of enforced rest… I’m not looking forward to this, but I am in a way… time to let my body chill!

Bliss!

A year already?

In Flat on July 29, 2015 at 11:55 pm

I have avoided talking about my Director role, I wrote about events at the wrong time. I’m happy to say that everything is ok now, I mean, I learned from this and a lot of things has happened since. I’m confident of our position and of our management company, we have been moving forward harmoniously thanks to a slight change of personnel. New line of communication certainly benefitted both sides.

We had our AGM today and it went really well, I wasn’t sure what to expect but we were open and concerns were put to rest, I can’t believe it’s been a year to be honest, so much has happened! Anyway, we’re optimistic about the future and there are some good ideas going forward that will add value to our investment, I’m also very happy that management company have moved into the offices below, so I’m certainly very positive. 

I’m glad everyone is satisfied with what we’re doing, most probably don’t know but the Directors do have lengthy discussions on every issue, we share our opinions and go by the majority. We do assess the pros and cons, after all, this is our investment too. This is a good place to be and we want the same thing really, to remain conscious of the changes around us and keep our development pristine! 

Onwards and upwards!

Tap, Jazz & Contemporary

In Dance on July 27, 2015 at 11:55 pm

I was as prepared as I could be for a three-hour session… by not thinking about it!

Tap

It’s been a typical miserable Mancunian summer, wet all day and no sun in sight, I had a mild headache all day but couldn’t work out why, lack of sleep? No idea, I thought I slept well last night.

Anyway, only a handful of hardcore regulars came tonight, our group has been together for a long time – we’re so comfortable with each other, I love the vibe and the banter. I love our tap family!

I had a mixed across the room, struggled with spinning step-shuffle-hop at speed, in fact I still struggle with the spotting… I need some alone time really, have to work it out! I kept it quiet but I might have done drop-shuffle-pickups on my toes. I traveled a fair bit before I realised that my heels weren’t touching the floor, it came from nowhere! It felt like a eureka moment! Still, that’s a one-off… need to make it consistent, that’s key! Until then, shhhhh!

Spotting, could have been a LOT better. SPEEED too!

Wings – I did ok? Need to go lower as Ailsa frantically pointed out – single wings were hard but not beyond me, I can feel it, it’s a case of repetition. I’ll get there, gotta keep moving!

We finished the routine tonight, my take on the ending was a little muddled… I did try but whoosh! The quick turning cramproll followed by step-hop-dig-heel whatever it was… it’s a common step, just hard to describe. The routine started simple but it does pick up and get tricky at the end, it’s a nice challenge to work on the combos, I reckon we needed another two lessons to get the whole locked down. Everyone is more than capable. I had a blast, the knee was ok, except for a minor pinch on drop-shuffles.

The place is shut next week! No tap! I suppose this is good for me, an enforced break, otherwise I wouldn’t have stopped dancing! I’ll get a week to recuperate… I hope!

Jazz

Laura is off on her break. I arrived late for Josh’s warm-up, I… admittedly killed some time and missed most of it, because I was scared of the running part. Luckily none of that happened. We did some very basic steps across the room.

The routine, however I reckon it was one of the more challenging pieces from Josh. I really liked it because there were lots of technical aspects, I did think it was a little too advanced for some of the new people there – to go from the basics to the routine, the steps we learned weren’t applied either, so it was a big step up. Some really struggled but soldiered on, good job!

We had… reaches! And… ROLLS! Oh gosh, we had a standing bum roll… I doubt some people did anything like that before, but that was the challenge for them!

The routine was fun – lots of little cute things to remember, I didn’t feel the music as much… don’t know why. I didn’t move my legs as quickly as I should have, just to be safe! I realised the twisting was aggravating my knee, by avoiding it I’m actually ok.

Been an ok session, it was good to roll!

Private: Contemporary

Got a very educational hour with Ailsa. It was so good because she started from scratch and explained basic techniques, like the starting points – such as parallel feet, forward-motion knees when bending and use of core muscles. Not necessarily 100% tensed, but tension vary for every move. I sponged up every detail and nuances she pointed out, these were things I couldn’t see in class.

She had my undivided attention, we covered the core, and rolling our arms, plus jumping with knees straight and feet down, turning arms up – head to go with arms etc. Precisely what I was after, the details to the untrained eye! We proceeded to ROLLING! Sitting and standing, I had to be brave and dive at the floor. Felt pretty clunky at times but apparently it looks ok – drag can be reduced by being prepared. It’s all about the set-up, the entry with the arm dictates the roll… the better prepared you go into it, the better you come out of it. All about trusting the arm/shoulder to take the weight!

I can’t kneel with my feet flat against the floor, I thought there was something wrong but Ailsa assured me it’s just a stretching thing. Mine aren’t strong enough to support my weight so it does hurt, a lot! It’s just a matter of strength building I guess, and psychological re-wiring! I must stop using my toes because it stresses my knees, this will be the most conscious thing I have to do, I automatically land with my toes out – need to avoid this from now on, and glide my feet flat in line with the shin. This will be hard! Re-programming is in order!

Lastly, backrolls! I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought! I planned to use my right shoulder but instinctively used left… durr. I was shown four ways to exit! Knees, one knee-one back, both slide back, one high then slide back. They were all really cool, just need to memorise it for the classes, not like I can practise at my flat, or can I?… Hmmm.

The hour was up and I was very satisfied with the things we covered, all types of rolling! My body is less forgiving, I have a scraped red shoulder-blade, bruised left elbow, very sore feet and a slightly aching bum. No pain no gain right? It’s been an utterly pleasure to learn from Ailsa, she knows I love dancing and I really enjoyed picking on the intricacies of Contemporary, she explained everything so well, there’s a lot to remember so I need to let my brain sit on it! I feel much better prepared!

Physio schedule

I need to start my daily stretches tomorrow when I buy a rope and mat! The physio on Saturday gave me a program to follow plus I’m told to increase my daily water intake to 2/3ltrs, and salt ingestion by 5 – 6grams, my body soft tissue is dehydrated! I really want to do this, got my schedule ready and… with luck, I can fix this niggling leg and other issues.

For the next ten days I’m cutting out all junk food like soda, even tea/coffee, crisps, chocolate, biscuits and beer… let’s see how my body copes with just water and fruit and veg. I want to experiment and hopefully improve myself.

I need to stay fit to dance!

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